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Cauliflower Soup with Coconut, Turmeric, and Lime

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Fall is all about soup, and this Asian-style soup is super easy and off the charts delicious. The combination of cauliflower, fresh turmeric and curry is divine. This is a soup that even the folks who shy away from cauliflower (and the brassica family of vegetables) will enjoy. Here is a great article on the genetics of enjoying or not liking broccol, yes it is real! I prefer to add fresh turmeric, which is now quite freely available in the market, to this soup rather than the dried powder. Fresh turmeric has a gentle flavor and beautiful yellow color that is missing from the dried powder, you will be able to taste the difference in this soup. However, be gentle, it is a strong spice and should be used in a small quantity so that it does not overpower the soup. In addition, the lime juice adds a wonderful tang to the after palate in this soup making you crave more. The flavors in this soup come together beautifully.

Deborah Madison is one of the first American chefs who made vegetables delicious. She has published quite a few books over the years, each one creative, innovative and packed with flavors from around the world. This book is probably my favorite one, filled with wonderful recipes, like this one, that pop with flavor, and step out of the ordinary.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee

1 cup or more chopped leeks, white part only, washed thoroughly, or shallots

1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro stems and leaves

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, broken into small florets + 1/2 cup small florets in bite sized pieces

1/2 inch fresh turmeric, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

3/4 tablespoon curry powder

Sea salt to taste

1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk,

2 or more cups of water

Juice of one large lime

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro to finish


Add coconut oil in a soup pot over medium low heat. Add leeks, cilantro stems, and cauliflower (except the 1/2 cup if you would like texture to your soup, see below) and stir to coat with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat to allow the leeks and cauliflower to cook through and soften. Do not brown.

Add turmeric, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in coconut milk and 2 cups of water and raise the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.

With an immersion blender, purée till very smooth. Alternatively, you can put a few cups of the soup through a blender or food processor. Add more water if the soup is too thick. Stir in lime juice and salt.Taste and adjust salt and spices as needed.

For a soup with texture, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and add the 1/2 cup florets with some salt pepper and curry powder (optional) and sauté till the cauliflower is barely cooked, and retains lots of crunch. Set aside as a garnish.

To serve, heat the soup and ladle into bowls and top with fresh cilantro and/or the fried cauliflower. Keep lime wedges on the side for those who would like more.

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